10 months - I'm a much healthier person; physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Pardon my language, but holy shit! I never thought I would come this far, and I owe a whole lot to NoFap (Apologies in advance for the huge wall of text inbound).
It's been a while since I've visited this subreddit, or reddit as a whole, for that matter, but I thought I'd drop by for a visit and to share with you all my story, as well as some advice, and hopefully some motivation.
If it weren't for simply happening to come across a post about NoFap on Facebook, I don't know where I'd be right now. When I really think about it, I'd probably still be stuck in that same rut with a life-ruining addiction and the worst confidence a person could ask for. However, on November 31st of 2013, I happened to see that post, and it caught my eye. I looked into it, and began to read these stories, and I immediately knew what I needed to do to change my life.
The first week was nothing. Fueled simply by the drive and inspiration I gained from this sub, and my motivation to get my life together, I managed to delete all my porn folders and start the journey that would change my life. The purest sense of absolute joy washed over me for the first week, and already, I had never felt more motivated in my life. Many people in this program will probably understand how this felt, and most of you will have likely felt how I did later on.
Shortly after, things started to get rough. My brain was still hardwired to think so sexually and look at women as simple objects meant for my pleasure. I was tempted to look at sexually explicit images on a constant basis, and many times gave in, only to feel ashamed of myself for simply thinking of typing a link in the address bar. My body didn't know what to do with all the built-up testosterone, as for the first time in ages, I went for over a week without fapping. My main coping strategy for stress had been thrown out, cold turkey, because I knew it was the only way I could fix these problems. Because of all this, my depression hit an all-time low, which was only made worse by situations that had been occurring at home. I was becoming abrasive, and lashing out at others, which only managed to make me feel worse, as I felt I was dragging everyone down with me.
No matter how hard the times were, I always managed to stay strong, and I knew I had such a loving community to back me. To all the awesome people who commented on my posts with congratulations for my victories, and for advice in my darker times, I thank you. This community, combined with a new, healthier lifestyle and music that I could truly relate to, among other things, pulled me through those dark times, and helped to shape the person I am today. I not only had my friends and family in real life, many of whom helped me through that part of life, but also this family; this group of people who understood exactly what I was going through, and were completely non-judgmental about it. I can't stress enough just how important this community was to me in the earlier days of my recovery.
Back on the topic of music, I think that is something looked over far too often by this community; the true healing power of music. For me, this music was that of Burial. Something about the melancholy beauty, and human roughness combined with the electronic production I already loved really appealed to me in those darker times; and it was this music that I could cling to at any time to make me feel better. It was a safe haven, and I felt like I wasn't alone in this struggle when I listened to it. Everybody may have different music that can pull them through the tough times, but no matter what it may be, I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. Simply shutting out the world around you and getting lost in music can work wonders for the resetting of the mind, and relaxation of the body.
Because of all this, I have made a dramatic transformation in my life. Sure, I still have my low points. Yes, my hormones fluctuate from time to time, and at times I will still think hyper-sexual thoughts that I, myself am ashamed of, but I've changed so much, and I will never go back.
I'm a much healthier person; physically, mentally, and spiritually. I'm in the best shape of my life, and I've dropped so much unhealthy food from my diet. Through this, I have also found more energy, and by combining that with the time saved by no longer browsing the internet for pornographic content, I've become a lot more productive. I have a better mindset towards many things, and have found ways to maintain a healthy mind. I'm more confident, but have never let myself get cocky, and I've been told by many that I've become a much nicer person. To my own surprise, I've also become far more open with my sexuality. Prior to NoFap, I would have considered myself completely straight, not to mention disgustingly sexual (though I never would have admitted that). However, it seems that through my "awakening," so to speak, I no longer feel constrained by what's expected of me through this heteronormative pornographic society, and instead feel much more open to relationships of all sorts. I can now appreciate the beauty in the human body, and of all people, instead of just looking at some people as sexual objects.
So to all you still going through the rough times, keep your head up! You will make it through this, and become a better person because of it; I can assure you of that. The key is to find ways to cope with the side effects of quitting. I can personally recommend exercise, music, and spending as little time on the internet as possible, but there are many different coping strategies, and it's just a matter of finding what is right for you. Sometimes it's as simple as putting your computer away for a while, and picking up a new hobby, sometimes it is tougher. You know yourself better than anyone else, though, and you'll know what's best for you, not to mention the fact that you'll get to know yourself a lot better along the way.
To sum it all up, quitting my porn addiction was one of the best choices I've made in my short life so far. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants more control of their life; not only sexually, but in all aspects. There are many people I'd like to thank for how far I've come, but of all people, it's the fapstronauts, this community, that started it all. Thank you. And thanks to anybody who has bothered to read this rambling. I've spent a lot longer on this than I expected, and I'll probably head off to bed shortly after it's been posted.
I think I'll stick around for the next few days, and hop on from time to time, so if anyone needs someone to talk one on one about their recovery, I'll be here. Also, if anyone would like to ask any questions about my own recovery, feel free to do so below. I will get to them as soon as possible, though it may be a few hours before I reply to anyone, as I plan on going to bed soon. I just want to do my part in helping other people change their lives, as others have done for me.